Michael J. Manacci

Although I had few encounters with Steampunks and their culture during my childhood, it nevertheless fascinated me then and, frankly, it still does. Now proven by hindsight, false illusions the Victorian Age had of a future that never came yet only exists within the realms of our imagination is somewhat nostalgic for people of the last century or so. Anyone who is a serious bookworm grew up reading the works of authors like Mark Twain, Rudyard Kipling, and Upton Sinclair, etc., had insight into how daily life occurred during the 19th century. Yet, during this time period, fiction blends with reality many times. Nowhere does this mingle better than 2003’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. 

Based upon the 1999 graphic novel by Alan Moore, this movie centers around characters from Victorian-era literature teaming up to stop a terrorist cell led by an arms dealer known only as the Phantom whose sole purpose is to bring about the First World War early. We start our adventure on a dark, damp London night in the year 1899. The still of the night is suddenly broken by the horrifying unknown sounds of a tank breaking into the Royal Bank to steal what seems like old random scrolls. With the police in tow, they are ultimately powerless to stop the robbery.

 A month later, the British government seeks out the legendary explorer of Africa, Alan Quatermain (of King Solomon’s Mines by Sir H. Rider Haggard), living out his retirement in British colonized Kenya. While discussing his reluctance to aid the British Empire, a group of armed assailants come barging in with automatic rifles and proceed to kill everything in the hunting lodge where Quatermain resides. Wielding his trusty hunting rifle, called Matilda affectionately by him, Quartermain is able to fend off these intruders with great ease. However, the last assassin poisons himself before he can allow himself to be interrogated by our heroes. This attempt on his life convinces Quartermain that her majesty’s offenses have been made his. A few weeks later, Quatermain arrives in London and links up with a British agent to meet with the man who recruited him for this endeavor: A man simply known as M.

M soon introduces Quartermain to his fellow league members. Captain Nemo (of 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea by Jules Verne.), Rodney Skinner, Gentleman Thief (of The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells), and Dr. Wilhelmina Harker ( of Dracula by Bram Stoker.) make up the initial team. Later, new members such as Dorian Gray ( of The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde), U.S.Secret Service agent Thomas Sawyer (of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain), and finally, the elusive and mysterious Dr. Henry Jekyll/Mr. Edward Hyde (of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson) round out the roster to form this steampunk justice league.

You see, Dear Reader, M chose each league member based upon the skill sets and the expertise they possess. Very much in the same way, our heavenly Father gives unto each and every human on this planet a gift that we are to use to bring forth not only the kingdom of God but to further his glory. So the Bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 12:4-10:

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge, by means of the same spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same spirit, to another faith by the same spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another interpretation of different kinds of tongues. 

I leave you with this, Dear Reader. Whatever your talents, skills, and ability are, God the Father gave it to you for a reason out of sheer love for you, his creation. Once you find your gifts, ask God to show you how to utilize those gifts for his glory. Go forth and share your gifts with the world. May God bless you on this journey.